The deadline for applications under this priority of the fund was 5pm, Thursday 31 July 2014. We will announce further information regarding the call in the coming weeks.
We have now opened a call for proposals for a new Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund priority – using digital technology to get people involved in social action.
Digital technology is changing the way we connect to our neighbours and local community. We can now use platforms like fixmystreet to report public realm issues, map emergencies using Ushahidi and gather together hundreds, thousands, sometimes millions of supporters to a cause through social media.
Social action is an integral part of this movement. It includes structured, practical and impactful volunteer contributions to help support others, using the web. Examples include peers sharing information online (like how to better manage a long term condition), or volunteers signing up as online mentors and tutors (for example to coach young people to improve academically or deal with bullying). Web enabled social action can also be a powerful tool to mass mobilise volunteers in a crisis (like a first aid emergency or the floods), to crowdsource a solution or to encourage generosity amongst neighbours.
Yet we have only scratched the surface of what is possible. We feel more can be done. We are now inviting Expressions of Interest from organisations and programmes with a track record of harnessing the power of digital technology for social action that are looking for support to scale.
Grants of £50-£150,000 are available, as well as non-financial support to improve your evidence of impact.
We know that digital social action is a broad field, so this call is focused on innovations that use digital technology to:
- Support communities to take action in times of emergency. We are interested in platforms that enable people to come together and volunteer their time and expertise in extraordinary circumstances, where social action can make a real, immediate impact on people’s lives.
- Foster peer-to-peer or volunteer-led support in one of our existing priority fields (long term conditions, ageing, jobs, young people, impact volunteering). This could include platforms that bring together communities of interest and foster mutual support, or the innovative use of technology to broker and sustain mentoring or support relationships.
- Encourage people to share their data, particularly about their health, for the public good. For example, platforms that encourage patients to share data about their condition with researchers and public services.
In particular it is worth noting that we will be using this fund to support a small number of innovations to increase in impact and scale.
- Those applying should have already tested their idea - this is not a fund that is suitable for innovations that are still at the concept stage. We will be looking for evidence that you have used the innovation with real users, have successfully mobilised volunteers and have evidence of existing or potential buyers or commissioners of your product.
- We are looking for ideas that can scale to reach many more people, and teams that have a plan to get there.
We are also looking specifically for digital innovations that mobilise communities to work alongside public services or to contribute directly to public service outcomes. Please ensure your work can demonstrate this link to public service outcomes in your application.